Creative Good: Using Talents for Project Linus

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Three years ago I found myself in a position to choose a new cause to volunteer for. To be honest, I was burned out on heavy, back breaking volunteer work, and desired to find something more relaxing. I researched the different organizations in our small town and nothing seemed to fit what I needed until I found the local chapter of Project Linus. I knew of Project Linus through newspaper articles and community events, but I had never thought about joining. I contacted the coordinator of the local chapter and she invited me to the next monthly meeting.

Project Linus is a non-profit organization that provides blankets to children who are ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need of love, comfort and warmth. The blankets are new, handmade and are created by volunteers known as “blanketeers.” In addition, Project Linus provides a fun service opportunity for individuals and communities to come together and be creative artists for the benefit of children.

Project Linus National Headquarters is located in Bloomington, Illinois. Local chapters are spread throughout all 50 states of the U.S.A. and are facilitated by coordinators, directors and officers. Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies or anywhere where a child needs to be shown kindness and love.

Blankets donated to children in need at monthly meeting.
Blankets donated to children in need at monthly meeting. | Source

Gathering Together

The first meeting I attended at our local chapter, the Oconee Regional Chapter of Project Linus, I was met with warm greetings and friendly smiles. From the start, I felt at ease and right at home with the members. Our chapter meets monthly to process blankets, socialize, have workshops and celebrate the chapter’s accomplishments. Attendance at the meetings are optional as blankets from shut-ins, other community groups and out of town residents are processed without the presence of the maker.

Blankets are required to be new and either handmade or have a handmade aspect. We have members of all levels, master quilters, beginning quilters, as well as many people who crochet and knit. The organization places considerable emphasis on creating blankets that would be attractive to a child. Child friendly colors and fabric are popular to use for quilts and afghans. The sizes of the blankets can range from the very small for the premature babies to full bed size for teenagers.

Our chapter does not require members to donate a specific number of blankets per year but does give incentives for members who make at least 12 blankets per year. I found once you start making blankets, you become addicted, and making 12 blankets per year is an easy goal for anyone to reach.

September is National Sewing Month!
September is National Sewing Month! | Source

The Resulting Good

I have experienced the good these simple blankets can do. During my time as a volunteer, I have received several thank you notes from the families of children who were given a blanket that I made. The stories related through the thank you notes would bring anyone to tears. The children have experienced such tragic events as home fires, car wrecks and different illnesses, just to name a few. The families are so surprised and thankful that someone took the time to create an object that would bring much comfort during a frightening time. I treasure the thank you notes that I have received over the years.

My husband volunteers each year for United Hospice’s Camp Cocoon, which serves children who have lost a family member. My chapter has donated over 300 blankets to the camp so each child would have a special blanket of their own. The children are so grateful to have a beautiful addition to their beds and a lovely souvenir from the camp to take home.

I do not think that I have enjoyed any volunteer experience as much as I have Project Linus. I can sit on my couch in pajamas making a blanket and still feel as if I am doing good in this world. It is a volunteer opportunity that you can do in the comfort of your own home while spending time with your family. The once a month meeting is an immensely enjoyable experience that does not place considerable expense on time or money. I cannot recommend this worthy charity enough to anyone seeking a high quality volunteer experience. Please visit Project Linus for additional information and local chapter contacts.

All content that is published on this site under the profile Catherine Califf Dean is the property of the author and is protected by all applicable Copyright Laws. No part of the work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission from Catherine Califf Dean, the publisher/author.

About the Author

Catherine Dean is a freelance writer, gardener, quilter, and blogger. Her professional background includes nonprofit program development, grant writing, and volunteer management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Georgia College & State University.

Her blog, Sowing A Simple Harvest, chronicles a modern couple trying to live a simplistic, sustainable life. To explore Catherine's professional credentials, visit her website. She can also be followed on Google+.

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Comments 9 comments

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Hearwarming story about children and what we can do to help. It’s great to see a new HUBBER and welcome to HUB writing. I found I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm always your fan! RJ

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http://hubpages.com/education/Ben-takes-a-Quantum-...


mvillecat profile image

mvillecat 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia Author

Thank you so much Reynold Jay! I have found everyone here so warm and welcoming. It is such a fantastic place to exercise writing skills while learning from others. Thanks for the vote up!


Joseph Dean profile image

Joseph Dean 5 years ago from Macon, Georgia

I feel blessed that I can actually see how a child reacts to receiving one of these special blankets. Each year at United Hospice's Camp Cocoon, a bereavement camp for children, I load my car up with 100 plus blankets, all created by the Oconee Regional Chapter of Project Linus. When the kids at the camp enter their cabins, the first thing that they do is to pick out their very own blanket.

I'm able to see the love that my wife puts into each blanket that she creates. The other "blanketeers" equally put much TLC into their creations as well.

I'm very proud that my wife participates in this organization that is able to spread so much love to so many.


East Texas Girl profile image

East Texas Girl 5 years ago from East Texas

Project Linus is a wonderful organization. When my son was 6 he received a blanket from Project Linus. It was given to him while he was in the hospital. This is a great way to spread the word about a program that brings so much joy to children in times of grief.


mvillecat profile image

mvillecat 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia Author

Thank you East Texas Girl! Sorry for the late response but I broke my computer this past weekend! I am so happy that your son received a Linus blanket. I find so much joy from this organization! Thank you for leaving a comment.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I just ordered this book for my mom's birthday! I know she will love hearing about all your wonderful organization accomplishes for children. Keep up the great work. Voted up and interesting.


SparrowMinistries 4 years ago

This is absolutely lovely. I am happy to hear you found your niche. I believe when we are doing what we are called to do, most of the time it doesn't even feel like work!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

What a great introduction to Project Linus. I haven't participated in that particular project, but have made quilts for other organizations, and it is a wonderful and easy way to give.


mvillecat profile image

mvillecat 4 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia Author

Thank you Millionaire Tips! I love this charity so much and have seen its benefits first hand. Thank you for commenting.

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